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Fashion District Festival Round-Up: Part Two

This is the second in a series of two blogs showcasing the events that took place during our recent Fashion District Festival. You can read part one here.

The first Fashion District Festival is officially over! Our five-day festival celebrating sustainability and innovation in fashion featured a jam-packed schedule, with a huge variety of interactive sessions and events.

Our first blog presented a round-up of festival programming that was aimed at supporting emerging designers and start-ups. This blog explores the celebration of creativity that took place throughout the festival, from our personalised showcase to our interactive workshops, which also served to encourage guests to think about sustainability in fashion.

Festival Showcase & Celebration

On Thursday 23rd September, we celebrated the launch of the first Fashion District Festival with our very own fashion showcase, a physical celebration of London fashion sponsored by Lendlease and hosted by D&D, right outside Haugen at the Queen Elizabeth Park.

Produced by Lee Lapthorne, Creative Director of On|Off London and featuring unique designers, choreography and wearable art, the showcase was the perfect event encapsulating the creative talent in the city. Pieces walking the runway included a fantastical spectacle by Jack Irving, as well as clothing from emerging designers Daniel Pascal Tanner, Dylan Joel, Steven Sheldon with House of Sheldon Hall, Eve Gillespie with Mothers’ Daughter, Longshaw Ward, Iyanu, Eirinn Hayhow, Anciela, Ana Sekulerac, Rosie Evans, Karina Bondereva, Patrick McDowell, Francesca Palumbo, A Quiet Ceremony, Daniel Fletcher, Teatum Jones and Christopher Raeburn.

With the dramatic background of The Pavilion, the pieces descended the stairs to a checked stage, surrounded by our live audience. The fashion show was accompanied by an explosive hip-hop routine choreographed by Kwame Asafo-Adje for Spoken Movement, providing an extra layer of fun and excitement to the show.

To end the night, Fashion District partner D&D London graciously hosted the official after-party at their brand new venue Haugen, where guests arrived to complimentary drinks and canapés. The after-party featured speeches from emerging designer Tolu Coker and Alice Eady, documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Earthrise. They both gave a personal ‘message to the industry’ around the positive change the fashion industry needs to action to support climate justice.

MAKE: Inspiring creativity and sustainability

The creativity from the showcase was threaded throughout other activities hosted at the festival. Our MAKE pillar was the final theme that completed the festival structure, bringing interactive, accessible workshops to festival attendees. The purpose of these workshops was to encourage guests to explore their creative side, learning how to upcycle pre-loved clothing items while inspiring attendees to think about how they could make their wardrobes more sustainable in future. Workshop acitvities included mini loom weaving, embroidery, fabric weaving and more.

We worked with some incredible partners to facilitate the workshops, including RETURE, Trashion Factory, Anciela and Make Town. RETURE’s workshops included offerings from designers including SABINNA, Joao Maraschin, and 4646.rec, who all generously shared their fashion expertise and skills with guests.

The workshops weren’t only for adults, with special offerings designed just for young people from Making for Change, Prince’s Foundation and Restoration London. These included cape making and a fun runway show for the new superheroes to show off their designs, a denim revamp workshop and a session where attendees could make their own phone case.

The majority of the workshops were located at The Lab E20, a new event space developed by our festival partners Get Living and Future City. With interior design produced by Christopher Raeburn, the venue was the perfect place for attendees to be inspired and get creative. Alongside our workshops, The Lab E20 also hosted our DiscoMAKE event, in collaboration with Fashion Revolution, Matthew Needham and Fashion Open Studio. Filled with second-hand materials, attendees were encouraged to create unique outfits and upcycle pieces, with pets even getting involved in the fun!

It was such a nice and relaxed atmosphere. [The designer] did a great job explaining how to crochet the bag and encouraged us to help each other – it was a lovely afternoon! Would definitely attend again!

Quote from MAKE Workshop Attendee

The Future for Fashion District

Our first festival was an explosion of creativity, celebrating emerging designers and start-ups from around London, and showcasing sustainability and innovation within the industry. Our four pillars, MAKE, GROW, WATCH & SHOP, all contributed to producing a dynamic and excitement-filled week, perfect for fashion lovers, conscious consumers and the Fashion District community.

Now that the Festival is over, we will continue to look for innovative ways to support designers and founders. We are currently planning our programme for next year, and will be building off of the legacy of the Fashion District Festival to ensure that we continue to develop connections and support up-and-coming brands.  

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